One-day series, Hobart: England 206-7 (49.5 overs) beat New Zealand 205-9 (50 overs) by three wickets
Flintoff (right) kept his head to guide England home
Andrew Flintoff made an unbeaten 72 as England squeezed home by three wickets against New Zealand in Hobart.
Freed from the cares of captaincy, Flintoff hit seven fours as they reached 206-7 with one ball to spare.
It was their first win of any kind since arriving in Australia but came at a price as captain Michael Vaughan suffered a hamstring injury.
New Zealand were restricted to 205-9 in their 50 overs as fast bowler James Anderson produced figures of 4-42.
But England made heavy weather of their run-chase, slumping to 138-5 before a stand of 60 in 11 overs between Flintoff and Paul Nixon seemed to turn things in their favour.
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Even then, however, there were a series of final twists as Nixon (15) ran himself out attempting a second run to Daniel Vettori in the deep and Jamie Dalrymple carved a catch to Jeetan Patel at point.
Flintoff did his bit to jangle the nerves of his team-mates in the dressing room when he miscued a full toss to mid-wicket, but survived when umpire Steve Davis ruled the delivery was above waist height and called no-ball.
Jon Lewis was on strike at the start of the final over, with four still needed, but managed to pick up a single and a relieved Flintoff finished things off.
England made one change following their defeat by Australia in the opening game of the triangular competition, with Ed Joyce replacing the injured Kevin Pietersen.
New Zealand stuck with the same XI which lost to Australia two days earlier and rather than face the prospect of another run-chase, Stephen Fleming chose to bat first after winning the toss.
Brendon McCullum hit the second ball of the game for six but he soon lobbed a catch to Vaughan at mid-off, the first of three wickets for Anderson in an excellent eight-over spell with the new ball.
Fleming was bowled off the inside edge for 12 and Ross Taylor went for a single, but Nathan Astle contributed a useful 45 before he became the second batsman to play on, with Paul Collingwood the successful bowler.
Collingwood and Monty Panesar bowled tightly in tandem for 12 overs in the middle of the innings and offered the batsmen little and the pressure told when Flintoff replaced Panesar and Peter Fulton (27) chipped to a leaping Vaughan at mid-wicket.
Anderson took 3-27 in his eight overs with the new ball
Craig McMillan followed tamely for 22, giving a return catch to Collingwood, who ran through his 10-over stint for highly impressive figures of 2-25.
James Franklin was caught at wide long-off for 20 in the 47th over as Flintoff completed his stint with figures of 2-37, but some unorthodox batting by Mark Gillespie, who slogged Anderson over mid-wicket for four carried the total beyond 200.
Vaughan came out to open for England despite the injury suffered earlier while throwing on the turn, but it was not long before Dalrymple was summoned from the dressing room to act as runner.
The England captain looked in good touch despite his restricted mobility and it came as a surprise when he mistimed a pull off Franklin and was caught at mid-wicket.
Andrew Strauss's run of misfortune continued when he was adjudged lbw for 28, even though TV replays showed the ball had clearly come off the face of the bat before striking the pad, and Joyce failed to seize his opportunity when he was run out for five.
The scoring rate was strangled by spinners Patel and Vettori, who varied their flight intelligently, and the pressure they exerted paid off when Collingwood (10) was guilty of an ugly stroke off Patel which ended in Taylor's hands.
Ian Bell was dropped on nine by the keeper and it looked as though he might play a major innings until he was deceived by Patel and trapped lbw on the back foot for 45.
Patel's figures of 2-34 were fully merited but Flintoff refused to be tied down and went to his first one-day fifty since December 2005 off 59 balls before wrapping things up off the game's penultimate delivery.